Hillary Clinton endorses challenger for Jamaal Bowman’s New York House seat

<span>Hillary Clinton speaks in Washington DC on 16 March 2023.</span><span>Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters</span>
Hillary Clinton speaks in Washington DC on 16 March 2023.Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Hillary Clinton endorsed the primary challenger in representative Jamaal Bowman’s vulnerable re-election race in New York.

The former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate gave her support to George Latimer, the Westchester county executive who has received significant support from the pro-Israel lobby group Aipac.

“With Trump on the ballot, we need strong, principled Democrats in Congress more than ever,” Clinton wrote on X on Wednesday. “In Congress, [Latimer] will protect abortion rights, stand up to the NRA, and fight for President Biden’s agenda – just like he’s always done.”

Related: Pro-Israel group pours millions into unseating New York progressive Jamaal Bowman

In a statement, Latimer said it was a “deep honor” to receive Clinton’s support. “Her voice gives even more momentum to our grassroots campaign, which keeps gaining strength because we stand strongly and honestly for our values and for our belief in delivering meaningful results for the communities we serve,” he said.

Hours after Clinton’s announcement, Senator Bernie Sanders said in a post to X that he would be speaking at a rally for Bowman, hosted by the New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

AIPAC, funded by rightwing billionaires, supports extremist Republican candidates. They will spend $100m against progressives this year, including $25m against [Bowman],” said Sanders, referring to the pro-Israel lobby.

“Democrats must unite against this Super Pac. I look forward to joining Jamaal & [Ocasio-Cortez] in New York.”

The upcoming race between Bowman and Latimer has grown increasingly contentious as the candidates’ divided stances on Israel’s deadly war in Gaza has become the focus.

Bowman has remained critical of Israel, like other progressive House representatives. Meanwhile, Latimer has received significant support from the the United Democracy Project, a Super Pac affiliated with Aipac, NBC News reported. The Super Pac has already spent millions on campaign funding to unseat Bowman.

The latest endorsement for Latimer could increase his predicted sizable lead ahead of the 25 June primary election.

Latimer holds a 17-point lead over Bowman, according to a survey by Emerson College Polling/PIX11/The Hill.

Bowman has faced challenges during his tenure. The progressive representative was censured in December by mostly House Republicans after pulling the fire alarm in a congressional office building while the chamber was in session.

He said that he pulled the alarm by mistake, while critics accuse him of doing so to delay a vote.

Bowman faced additional backlash after a personal blog of his that included conspiracy theories on the September 11 attacks resurfaced.

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